The Tampa Bay Lightning have been without winger Tyler Johnson for the last week after suffering an upper-body injury in practice. While the 28-year-old is listed as day-to-day, NHL.com’s Bryan Burns writes that Tampa Bay general manager Julien BriseBois recently hinted that Johnson could miss more time than originally expected, including possibly missing the season opener.
“We’re optimistic that he’ll be ready for the season opener but there are no guarantees,” Brisbois said. “In any event, we don’t expect this to be something that will be long term.”
Johnson is a key player on the Lightning’s top-six as he is coming off a 21-goal, 50-point season and the team needs him on the ice if it wants to make another Stanley Cup run this season.
- Stu Cowan of the Montreal Gazette writes that Montreal Canadiens Jonathan Drouin, who spent his entire summer working on his skills at the center position was a little surprised when they moved him back to wing on the first day of training camp. “I worked on centre stuff all summer, so I was a bit surprised,” Drouin said. “Starting the season it’s easier to go from centre to wing if you’ve played that. I just need to get my feet wet more a little bit and get back to that elite winger I used to be.” Drouin hopes returning to his original position will give him a chance to develop into the elite winger that Montreal thought they were getting when they traded for him last offseason.
- The Boston Bruins are still making decisions on who will make their opening day roster, but no matter how you look at it, some very talented youngsters will find themselves on the outside looking in, according to Joe Haggerty of NBC Sports. The scribe writes that some players will have trouble making the roster, including defenseman Matt Grzelcyk as well as Anders Bjork. Grzelcyk played in 61 games, but could find himself in a seventh-man role or worse with the depth on the team’s blueline, while a shoulder injury has hindered the chances of Bjork making the team as Ryan Donato and Danton Heinen seem to have surpassed him on the depth chart. Bjork might get a chance to return for a preseason game or two, but is it too late?
- NHL.com’s Bryan Burns writes that the Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik believes the team is closing in on the possibility of getting an outdoor game as weather in February may be good enough in Tampa to host a game. However, NHL executive VP Steve Mayer countered (via The Athletic’s Joe Smith) that by saying that while Tampa Bay is one of many teams up for an outdoor game, no decisions have been made yet. An announcement won’t be made until early next year.
- Two players who were cut by the Tampa Bay Lightning are also going down injured as defenseman Daniel Walcott is expected to be out five to six months with a shoulder injury, while forward Kevin Lynch will miss four to six weeks with a lower-body injury, according to the Lightning. Both will eventually find their way onto the Lightning’s AHL squad once they have healed.